Murray's extended misery, short shrift for Stosur, more mail
• Whoa. Murray is in a serious slump right now -- and has been since the seventh round of the Australian Open. But we're talking about a player who's already reached the semis or better at three of the four majors, has a winning record over
Lots of Murray-bashing lately and it's not altogether unwarranted. It's not just that's he losing -- it's how and to whom. And his attitude: Even in the best of times, the sun seldom shines in Murray's world. But lately, he's walking around under his own private ash cloud. Nevertheless, this is a good time to issue the reminder that careers are not linear and even the best can play like dogs for a few months. He'll be back. Have faith.
• The item was meant to discuss the desperate need to address injuries. But fair point. All credit to Stosur, who not only has established herself as a top 10 player, but also has become a threat on all surfaces. In addition to her serve, her forehand is a deadly weapon; and she's one of those athletes who, one suspects, would be a point guard (what ever happened to
• Sort of. She hadn't played on clay in years. She was coming off a grueling event in Miami. She had flown across an ocean. Her daughter is starting to get into the various
• Dude -- Are the kids still staying dude? I've ordered them off my lawn so I don't pick up lingo like "weak sauce" -- I don't get it: I'm advocating against plaid and in favor of sleeveless, Day-Glo Lycra. And you're accusing me of sounding old? This confuses me. And now I need a nap.
• I gather that, yes, after Miami, Huber and Black have decided to take a break. Permanent or not, how about we pause to recognize a truly outstanding partnership? I was amused to see that Huber played alongside
• The Menendez brothers played tennis at Princeton? Rhode Island is the smallest state geographically but has the longest name?
• Agree. Even if there weren't a ready-made nickname. Even at age 16, she was a brilliant tactician. She had a great ability to recall her opponents and their tendencies. And, heaven knows, she has no problem expressing herself.
• Very good. But at least there was a spirited debate after this and Tennis Nation didn't simply let it slide, chalking it up to "a tradition unlike any other."
• It would probably behoove all of us to stop speculating and just see how this plays out. Without knowing the specifics, I stand by my point: When you've issued a guilty plea in a criminal proceeding for transport of a performance-enhancing drug -- again, this is not just a charge; this is an admission -- you should not be allowed to resume playing while awaiting your fate from your sport's governing body. Even in the unlikely event that there is exculpatory evidence or mitigating circumstances, you should lie low and let the process play out. Fortunately, in a decisive victory for common sense, Odesnik has agreed to a provisional suspension, and the ITF is revisiting its policy on this matter.
While we're here, let me throw this out to the lawyers in the audience: As a member of at least a quasi-players' organization, should Odesnik have had some obligation to disclose his situation to the ATP and ITF? I'm told that they were essentially blindsided by the report that he had plead guilty. Surely the crisis could have been managed better had there been more advance warning. (As for Odesnik's reception among his colleagues, note the
• For the first time, I attended the Delray event a few weeks ago. Piggybacking on Betty's remarks, I was impressed with the many small touches: The Bryan brothers played music on site; there were contests and murals and legends matches, along with mahi-mahi sandwiches in the food court. A lot of value added.
• This is the beast Federer has created: standards as high as the general admission seats at Arthur Ashe Stadium. So it is that every loss becomes a referendum on the health of his career. On the other hand, when you win three of the last four majors -- the last one in thoroughly dominating fashion -- it's news when you fall in successive events (on the same surface as your previous Slam win, no less) to
• Interesting question. I suspect that a lot of this is tied to the one-handed backhand, but it obviously doesn't explain the case with Nadal. Someone with more knowledge of exercise science, physiology, biomechanics, etc., should feel free to chime in.
• Half full: Yes, Verdasco's result of late have been encouraging. There's a lot of game there, always has been, and it's clear he's maturing. Glass half empty: Boy, it has to be demoralizing to reach a final of a big-ticket event and come within a game of getting double-bageled. We've talked before about Verdasco being one of the players who can clearly hit cruise control and reach Slams quarters and nest in that 8-12 range, make his millions, date the pretty girls and model underwear. Is he willing to make the investment necessary for a full-fledged assault on the summit? Let's follow him closely these next eight or so weeks.
• This gives us a chance to link
On the topic of tennis statistics:
• The Williams sisters as
• Stay tuned for
• Roddick, talking to
• Regarding last Sunday's final,
• Scott of Providence, R.I. has long-lost siblings: